Take a Trip Tuesday: Meet my Grandma Helen

Hi and welcome back to Take a Trip Tuesday!

Each Tuesday, we take a trip.  Go meet someone and do what I do best.  Ask them TONS of questions.  We’ll find out about this person and perhaps some great places about where they live…just in case you want to go and visit their town…so come with me on a little road trip.  Today, we’ll travel to southern Iowa to meet my wonderful Grandma Helen who is ninety-two years young.

I’d like to introduce to you ~ Helen Hargis

What is your current job title?  I’m a mother and a grandmother.  I’m retired…I used to be a dental assistant for Dr. Coleman in New Sharon.

Share with us about your family.  My husband, Caleb, and I were married for 67 years before he went Home to be with the Lord.  We have five children:  Elaine, Jim, Melanie, C.E, and Terry, who was stillborn.  Also, we have eight grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren.

My Grandma Helen and Grandpa Caleb...so in love

My Grandma Helen and Grandpa Caleb…so in love

Caleb and I with our children - Elaine, Jim, Melanie, and C.E.

Caleb and I with our children – Elaine, Jim, Melanie, and C.E.

You are living in New Sharon, Iowa.  Where are three places everyone should go if they come to visit your town?  1.)  The golf course because it’s pretty and a lot of people use it.  I don’t, but I live over by it.  2.)  The farm where Caleb and I lived and raised our family.  It’s interesting and pretty with lots of animals and trees.  A river runs through it that you can fish out of.  3.)  And really, anywhere in New Sharon…it is just a pretty area, no matter what season it is.

What is something you love about your home?  It’s handy and comfortable…anyone can stop by, it’s inviting.  We’ve had a lot of great memories here.  Our family is very close and we get together often for Sunday dinners after church.  Many holidays and birthdays have been celebrated here, as well.  Whenever we get together, we have fun.  We enjoy playing Spades, Mexican Train, or just visiting.

We love to play cards and Mexican Train dominoes

We love to play cards and Mexican Train dominoes

Share with us what your favorite meal is.  Shrimp or roast beef with potatoes and gravy.

Tell us about an amazing place you have visited.  Muncho Lake in British Columbia on the Alaska Highway.  It is beautiful and with such pretty blue-green water.  Rock sediments made it this color.  Caleb and I were traveling in the motor home.  Your mom and Joe had their motor home, too and we traveled the northwestern United States (Montana and Idaho) and into British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.  Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada within Banff National Park was beautiful, too.  Then, Caleb and I went on up farther north on the Alcan Highway to Alaska.  This highway was built in WWII.  Muncho Lake was on the way…it so beautiful and we enjoyed camping there.  You could see mountain sheep and the scenery was so pretty.

Caleb and I at Kakabeka Falls in Ontario, Canada

Another pretty place…Caleb and I at Kakabeka Falls in Ontario, Canada

Another pretty place...Blenheim Palace in England where Winston Churchill was born

And another pretty place…Blenheim Palace in England where Winston Churchill was born

What is currently on your DVR?  Or what do you usually watch?  Grandpa always liked the Cubs…but I watch sewing and cooking shows.

Your favorite books of all time?  I like books by the Christian author Max Lucado, and The Bible

Share with us a funny memory from long ago.  This could pertain to elementary school, high school, or last week…  Well, back when we lived on the farm, we were asleep one night and I felt something in my hair.  Now, this was when I wore my hair teased and big on top.  Well, I felt like something was in my hair just shaking it’s head back and forth.  Then, oh, my.  I knew it had to be a mouse.  I had to be quiet because I didn’t want to wake the kids.  So, I quietly jumped out of bed and climbed up onto our vanity.  I whispered for your grandpa.  “Caleb.  Caleb.”  Well, he woke up and saw me sitting up on the vanity and said, “What in the WORLD are you doing up there?”  I told him there was a mouse.  So, he got up and we figured that it had come up the register.  Caleb corked the hole.  Oh, that was a dreadful thing because you know that I’m just terrified of mice!

There was another funny time, when our neighbor, Stan Hibler, stopped by to introduce himself for the first time.  He knocked on the door.  I hollered, “Come in!”  And he walked in, peered into the kitchen and saw me up on the kitchen table.  I told him, “If you’ll just take that mouse out of the trap and throw it away, then I’ll get down off this table.”  Well, he did.  Oh boy,  I don’t know how long I’d have stayed up there if Stan hadn’t come to the door.


Grandma…we have similar stories…they involve mice and how those darn little creatures try to scare us half to death!  I’ve had my share of mice…Jerry the Mouse was in our house and I know where I get my fear of mice from…you!

Okay, give it to us straight up, Grandma.  What are your top five go-to snacks?  Pie.  Always pie.  Any kind of pie.  Ice cream bars, cheese and crackers, Nutty Bars, & fruit.

If you had to live somewhere else in the world, where would it be and why?  I can’t think of any place.  I like it just right here.  🙂

Three things you’d take if stranded on a deserted island…  t.v., it’d be good if I had my family…I need them, and food.

Grandma Helen's 90th birthday party - March 2012

Grandma Helen’s 90th birthday party with all of her family – March 2012

What are four items that are always in your refrigerator or pantry?  Ranch dressing, French dressing, ice cream, and in the deep freeze you’ll always find corn that we’ve put up/froze

What is your favorite thing to cook, grill, or bake?  Gravy…I never had meat that I didn’t have gravy to go along with it.  Grandma, I will say…you do make the BEST gravy!  We have it at every holiday and it’s always delicious!

What are you really good at?  Being a mother, a grandma, gardening, planting flowers.  Back when Caleb and I were younger and the men would be baling hay or harvesting crops, I’d cook a lot.  There could be about ten men that would come in for lunch.  So, Grandma, you’d make lunch meat sandwiches for them all?  Oh, NO!  I’d have a WARM, home cooked meal ready for them.

Favorite sport?  Basketball

What is your favorite season and why?  Spring because it brings new life

Easter 2014

Easter 2014

What are your favorite reads?  The Iowan magazine, Reader’s Digest, Better Homes & Garden

Your top three favorite songs of all time?   There are so many…I can think of four:  Ivory Palaces used to be one of my favorites, On My Father’s Side, In the Garden, and It Is Well With My Soul

What is a memory you have of me (us)?  I laugh when I think of the story you told about Grandpa Caleb and I.  We were living on the farm and I had been working in the garden.  Grandpa came by the garden to see how I was doing and right by the garden gate, he gave me a big kiss.  I remember how shocked you were!  You had no idea that Grandpa and I ever kissed.  You just couldn’t believe your eyes!  Yes, Grandma, that’s so true!  I couldn’t believe that I saw my VERY OWN GRANDPARENTS KISS!  You guys really surprised me that day.  And you had no idea that your little sixth grade granddaughter was watching it all from the kitchen window.  It was a sight that I’ll always remember.

Well, Grandma, that wraps up our interview.  I want to thank you so much for sharing about YOU!  You are such an amazing grandma who is such a blessing to so many people.  You have always shown grace, kindness, and love to so many of us.  Your faith in God is so strong and you lead by example.  I remember when you were our Sunday School teacher.  We learned so much from you and still today, I am learning so much from you.  Thank you for being such a positive role model to me, our children, and to so many people.  We’ve had many great memories…vacations to Florida, the World’s Fair, Canada fishing trips, camping at Lake Rathbun, living out on the farm, staying with you and Grandpa here in town, all of the holidays, cookie decorating at Christmas time…the list could go on and on.  I’m so blessed by you, Grandma Helen.  I love you so much!  Thank you for being a guest on my blog!  

Two special ladies in my life...my mom and my grandma

Two special ladies in my life…my mom and my grandma

Next week, we’ll look forward to meeting another person!  Remember, be thinking of how you’d answer all of these questions because I’ll probably be asking to interview YOU sometime soon! Finding out the little details about people…that’s what makes life so beautiful and interesting!!


  • Melanie
    June 10, 2014

    Oh, that is a wonderful interview of a gracious lady! I thank God for my family!

  • Francy
    June 16, 2014

    Lovely interview! There are so many silimarities between the two of you. I feel as if I know your grandma just a little more. Thanks for sharing & enjoy every minute with the ladies in your life!

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